Pancreatitis pretty much does what it wants to do, for however long it wants to do it. This disease is a real heartbreaker, because you never know when, or if, your dog will respond to treatment. As you probably already know, the only treatment is supportive: withhold food, support fluids and nutrients via IV, and treat with strong pain medication until the episode passes. We waited for over 3 weeks when our dog had panc, and finally had to euthanize him because he was just not getting any better.
Chronic pancreatitis can be managed to a certain extent with diet. My aunt had a mini schnauzer (the breed is notorious for chronic panc) who lived to be 19 - most of those years with chronic pancreatitis, and occasional hospital stays for acute attacks.
I doubt the paw-dragging is in any way related to the pancreatitis. It sounds like, for whatever reason, the circulation to that paw has been compromised. You need to get it checked out ASAP or she may lose the paw.
Any more news on your dog? Hopefully she's doing a bit better now. Pancreatitis takes a whole lot of patience to deal with. Not an easy thing when you see your dog so awfully sick, is it? This condition is also extremely painful. Ask your vet about some kind of pain management. The hospital my dog was at slapped a 75 mcg fentanyl patch on him, and used various other opiates for breakthrough pain as well.
The treatment for dogs is pretty much the same as for humans: no food and water by mouth to allow the pancreas to rest, and hopefully reduce its swelling. That is why intense nursing care is so important in the form of IV fluid and nutrient (TPN) maintenance, and pain management. That's also why this condition can be so expensive to treat. In my dog's case, the pancreas was so swollen that it blocked the common bile duct. That resulted in blocking enzyme flow from the pancreas, as well as bile flow from the liver and gallbladder. His gallbladder swelled up to the point that it was about to rupture - another reason we had to decide to euthanize. He was an old, old dog, and it was doubtful he would even make it through surgery at that point. You just have to take it day by day and see what happens.
One thing I've learned over the years is that sick dogs seem to know what they can and can't do. If they won't eat or drink, they know they can't. That's going to be your best indicator of whether he's getting better or not.
We've got her at our vet now. She is on IV fluids. I had to go back to college this week, so I won't see her til the weekend! Sad. Anyways, my mom called and said that they believe she is getting better. Still sick, but should recover. That makes me so happy!! My mom is going to go visit her tonight. They want to keep her another day as well. Thanks for all of the information!!!
Great, wonderful news!! I know it's going to be a really long week for you, but the reunion will be something!